Australian news, and some related international items

India ramps up “China killer” nuclear missiles, As Australia’s Labor government ready to sell uranium to India

India’s muscle flexing comes at a sensitive juncture for Australia, too.

At the Australian Labor Party’s national conference this weekend, one of the pre-eminent agenda items is a motion to end the ban on selling uranium to India.

 a new market offering high-grade uranium ore for India’s civilian reactors frees up the country’s limited indigenous supplies for boosting its military program.

India to test new missile  dubbed ‘the China killer’, The Age 3 Dec 11, Given the incendiary moniker ”the China killer” by the more sensationalist press, India’s newest nuclear-capable missile will be its most powerful yet, and an unmistakable signal to its neighbours.

Agni V – formally named after the Hindu god of fire and acceptor of sacrifices – is set to be tested within three months. It will be capable of carrying a nuclear warhead 5000 kilometres, meaning it can reach not only Beijing and Shanghai, but all of northern China. India’s existing arsenal can already reach every corner of Pakistan…. Continue reading

December 3, 2011 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, uranium, weapons and war | Leave a comment

A brief rundown on anti nuclear movement against uranium to India, and BHP’s new uranium mine

When one shareholder stated that he had no sympathy for the claims of the Aboriginal custodians in the room because “they are a conquered race,” the Chairman moved on due to time constrains, rather than commenting on the inappropriateness of the remark. 

The 2011 alternative shareholder report, “The Dirty Energy Report” was also launched, and distributed to shareholders

The ALP National Conference started today and runs until Sunday (Darling Harbour, Sydney). Over the last few weeks activists from around the country have been lobbying on the question of uranium sales to India, who is not a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Guillard has stated publicly that Labours policy of not selling uranium to India will be reassessed at the Conference – a statement made shortly after CHOGM.

A briefing paper for delegates has been drawn up for distribution at the conference (attached)

ICAN have received legal advice  that if  Australia sold uranium to India it would be breaching its obligations under international law Continue reading

December 3, 2011 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Opposition to nuclear | | Leave a comment

Radioactive waste and the Australian Labor Party

The event is the premiere showing of a photo exhibition by Jagath Dheerasekara titled Manuwangku, Under the Nuclear Cloud, which documents the people and place targeted to host the radioactive waste facility. The photo project is supported by Amnesty International, Jumbunna Indigenous House of Learning (UTS) and the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies (Sydney University). – more information on this exhibition at  and at    (video)

Hot Politics: Radioactive waste and the ALP, Radioactive waste management in Australia will be under the spotlight this weekend at the Australian Labor Party (ALP) national conference being held at Darling Harbour.

Against a backdrop of growing community concern and action the Beyond Nuclear Initiative is hosting an important conference event at 7pm on Saturday December 3. The Hot Politics: Radioactive Waste Management in Australia forum and photo exhibition will take place at the Mori Gallery at 168 Day Street, five minutes walk from the Darling Harbour Convention Centre.

Hot Politics will be hosted by well-known journalist Jeff McMullen. Speakers include United Voice NT Secretary Matthew Gardiner, Muckaty Traditional Owner Dianne Stokes and Shine Social Justice Practice Counsel George Newhouse, who is involved in a Federal Court challenge to the Muckaty plan. Continue reading

December 3, 2011 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

At last, Labor frontbencher Peter Garrett will vote against uranium sales to India

Garrett opposes uranium to India, SMH December 3, 2011 Labor frontbencher Peter Garrett says he will not support a push by Prime Minister Julia Gillard to change the party’s stance on uranium sales to India.

Ms Gillard will ask the party on Sunday to overturn its ban on uranium exports to India, which is not a signatory to the nuclear non-proliferation treaty.

But Mr Garrett told reporters outside Labor’s national conference in Sydney on Saturday that he would not back the move. “Australia has a substantial and a reasonable position in the international community on disarmament,” said Mr Garrett, a former Nuclear Disarmament Party candidate. “It’s based on the fact that these treaties are signed for a reason and a purpose.”..,.

December 3, 2011 Posted by | General News | 1 Comment

Fukushima’s cesium-137 radiation will affect public health for decades

Post-Fukushima Radiation Mapped, Cesium in soil a problem for agriculture IEEE Spectrum, By PRACHI PATEL  /  DECEMBER 2011  Editor’s Note: This is part of the IEEE Spectrum special report:Fukushima and the Future of Nuclear Power2 December 2011—More than eight months after a tsunami triggered a meltdown at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant, the broad impact of the accident on Japan’s people and lands is becoming clear.Three recently published academic studies show that while direct radiation exposure of Fukushima residents isn’t as high as was initially feared, soils across northeastern Japan are contaminated and could affect public health for decades through the produce farmed there. Continue reading

December 3, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Australia’s Northern Territory allows free groundwater to mining companies, not to any other users!

Mataranka residents surprised by mining’s right to ground water, ABC Rural News, By Steven Schubert, 02/12/2011 Members of a committee formed to develop a water plan for the Northern Territory town of Mataranka say they were never told mining operations could gain unrestricted access to ground water.

Mining operations don’t require a licence from the water controller under the NT Water Act, while other users have to apply for an allocation of ground water. Committee member Hamish McFarlane says if a mining project is formed near the town, there could be less water for irrigators and other users.

“Keeping in mind that you said before that the Water Act gives priority to mining, if a mining company came in here at this point in time and took the consumptive pool there would be no growth in Mataranka outside the mining industry.”…

December 3, 2011 Posted by | Northern Territory, water | | Leave a comment

Bendigo calls on Victorian government to reverse its anti wind energy legislation

Bendigo joins wind farm planning fight, ABC News,  December 02, 2011  The State Government is coming under further pressure from central Victoria to overturn its controversial changes to wind farm planning rules. The Victorian Government moved in August to establish no-go zones for turbines in selected areas across the state, including land around Bendigo.

The decision upset several local environment groups and the Mt Alexander Shire at Castlemaine was among the first councils to voice opposition to the move. Bendigo Mayor Rod Fyffe says his council has also voted to ask the Government to reverse the decision…..”On balance, we feel that it was a decision that we would like to see reversed so that communities can look at what they want, work out what they want and plan for what they want.”

December 3, 2011 Posted by | Victoria, wind | | Leave a comment

A pioneer wave energy project for Port Fairy, Victoria

Wave energy to power homes, The Age, December 2, 2011 A world-first wave energy project which mimics the movement of seaweed and kelp through the water will power hundreds of homes in Victoria’s south-west. The $14 million BioWAVE project is a single wave energy unit that will be anchored to the sea floor 30 metres underwater and about 800 metres from the shore at a site four kilometres west of Port Fairy.

The 450kW unit will be connected to the energy grid and power 300 homes by early 2013. The project is an example of biomimicry, in which biological traits are used in engineered systems. The Victorian government has put $5 million towards the project and other partners include AGL Energy Bluescope Steel, Lend Lease, Swinburne University, the University of Melbourne and the University of Sydney. Energy and Resources Minister Michael O’Brien said the project would also support the local economy and jobs.–homes-20111202-1ob24.html#ixzz1fW5uImjT

December 3, 2011 Posted by | energy, Victoria | Leave a comment